New Brunswick's first Sikh temple to be built near Shediac
Construction of the temple will begin in the spring
Members of the Sikh community in New Brunswick have purchased land north of Shediac to build the province's first Sikh temple.
There is no Sikh temple in Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick, said Balwant Singh, the lead on the project.
"That's why we feel we need one here and this is a centralized location,"
Singh said the community bought the property just off Route 11 this year.
He's hoping the new temple will be a place where people can come together.
"New Brunswick is a growing and a lot of immigrants from all over the world, every corner, the people come here and we are here, so everybody can get together," Singh said.
Singh, who's lived in the Shediac area since 2015, said there are about 20 to 25 Sikh families and a few hundred Sikh students in New Brunswick. On Prince Edward Island, he estimates the community has 300 to 400 members.
The new temple will include a school, a food bank, a basketball court and a medical centre and will be open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Singh said the services will be provided by Atlantic Khalsa Darbar, a non-profit organization.
Singh said the temple is open to everyone, including non-Sikhs, but they will have to follow basic rules such as removing their shoes, covering their heads and washing their hands before entering.
"We have a message here, which is 'recognizing all of humanity as a one,'" he said.
Construction of the temple will cost an estimated $4.5 million, and the community is doing fundraising.
Singh said donors have already provided funding, so construction can begin in the spring.
The temple is expected to be completed over two or three years, he said.
With files from Radio-Canada